17 August 2012

World Heritage Sites - Muskauer Park




The German Post has issued a stamp within the World Heritage Sites series dedicated to Muskauer Park, uniting the borders of Germany and Poland.

The Muskau Park is the largest and one of the most famous English gardens of Germany and Poland. Situated in the historic Upper Lusatia region, it covers 3.5 square kilometers of land in Poland and 2.1 km2 in Germany. The park extends on both sides of the Lusatian Neisse River, which constitutes the border between the countries. While Muskau Castle is situated west of the river, the heart of the park are the partially wooded raised areas on the east bank called The Park on Terraces. In 2003 a pedestrian bridge spanning the Neisse was rebuilt to connect both parts.

On July 2, 2004, UNESCO added the park to its World Heritage List, as an exemplary example of cross-border cultural collaboration between Poland and Germany. It was added to the list on two criteria: for breaking new ground in terms of development towards the ideal man-made landscape, and for its influence on the development of landscape architecture as a discipline.

Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kiev (UKRAINE)

Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kiev is an outstanding architectural monument of ‘Kievan Rus’. It is the first Ukrainian patrimony to be inscribed on the World Heritage List. UNESCO designated it as World heritage in 1990.

Its name comes from the Hagia Sophia (Holy Wisdom) cathedral in Constantinople. So it is dedicated to the Holy Wisdom rather any saint named Sophia). The cathedral was founded in 1011, under the reign of the Viking and Grand Prince of ‘Kievan Rus', Vladimir the Great. To commemorate its 1000th year Ukraine issued the following stamps.


Ukraine 2011

Se-tenant stamps with gutter label. Motifs of stamps are Frescoes inside the Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kiev and on the label ‘Sophia Kvisky’ 1000 years and the logos of UNESCO and World Heritage are inscribed. The Sketch of the model of Cathedral Building also depicted over the label.

Its Byzantine architectural structure has 5 naves, 5 apses, and 13 cupolas. It is surrounded by two-tier galleries from three sides, measuring 37 to 55 m. Its interior is decorated by mosaics and frescos from the 11th century.

This cathedral was a burial place of the Kievan rulers. Though Vladimir Monomakh, Vsevolod Yaroslavich and Yaroslav I the Wise were buried there, but only the latter's grave survived.

After the Russian Revolution of 1917, the government plan called for the cathedral's destruction and transformation of the grounds into a park. The cathedral was saved from destruction, primarily with the efforts of many scientists and historians. In 1934, Soviet authorities confiscated the structure from the church and designated it as an architectural and historical museum. St Sophia Cathedral was spared the widespread devastation of the Second World War.

In the late 1980s Soviet and later Ukrainian politicians promised to return the building to the Orthodox Church. The return was postponed as all Orthodox and the Greek-Catholic Churches lay claim to it. The complex now remains a museum of Ukraine's Christianity, with most of its visitors being tourists.

In 2007, the Saint Sophia Cathedral was named one of the Seven Wonders of Ukraine, based on votes by experts and the internet community.

- Pradeep Kumar Malik, Patna

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